Friday, February 12, 2016

JanesList Valentine's Special: 6 Pieces of Customized Joy (Retail Therapy Done Right)

Last weekend was terrible. Just fucking terrible. I'm saving that story for a future article, but let's just say that there was a lot of listening to Lourdes on endless repeat and even more mascara smears on my steering wheel. Folks who know me personally know that I don't really have many "lows" - I tend to be pretty high-energy, positive, and can hold my chaotic life down like nobody's business. Every once in a great while, though, I fall apart. I'm not talking a little frustration or a shitty blip in my day. I'm talking about utter hopelessness. The kind of hopelessness that's so suffocating and so profound that you can't even begin to explain your feelings to family or friends, and so you don't even try.

Several friends reached out to try and talk; to try and comfort me. I balked. Tight-lipped and antisocial, I thought the funk was here to stay - and I was totally down for wallowing in it. But in my sullen haze, I forgot something about myself. I fucking suck at being in a funk for very long. I just don't have the stamina for long-term self-pity. It's exhaustingly cyclical and exceedingly boring. So, after a couple days of just BLAH, I decided I needed to at least get a few things done at my house that have been on my "to-do" list for a while. Namely, buy some new shit that I needed to replace old shit that was on its way out the door.

But as I started taking care of at least a little household business, something strange happened. I was in the middle of buying a replacement surround sound speaker system when I realized: I WANT TO BUY THINGS FOR ME. Not for anyone else. Not for someone's birthday or someone's anniversary or someone's Christmas present. Not for a baby shower or bridal shower. Not for a school fundraiser or a my son's baseball fundraiser. And not because I have to replace stuff. I wanted to buy things for ME - things that make me feel good about who I am and what I've worked my ass off for. Things that make me feel like, well, myself.

I'm a tomboy, wrapped in a girly-girl, and nestled in a tech nerd. The options were limitless! Unfortunately, my bank account was not. But I was determined to treat myself with some little things that bring joy specifically to me.

Enter: My 6 Pieces of Customized Joy (Retail Therapy Done Right). Now I realize that retail therapy is no substitute for working through my feelings (or attending actual therapy, for that matter). But buying these things for myself reminded me, not only that I matter, but that I'm capable of creating customized joy in my own life. Of feeding the proverbial self-care beast. Of taking the power over my life back into my own hands.

I bet you want to know what I bought. Honestly, it took a little bit to figure out what I should buy because, as we all know, a lot of women, myself included, don't ever really treat themselves. I promise that it all started innocently enough... But then, Amazon Prime. What can I say?

1. Shoes - Shoes are staple of any woman's wardrobe. It doesn't matter if they're flip flops, house slippers, UGG boots, Nike tennis shoes, Chucks, or 4" stilettos. There's something about new shoes that makes a woman feel like she's expressing herself in her own unique way. Predictably, I went the way of the 4" black stilettos - they're like shit-stompers in a pretty wrapper.

2. A Good Makeup Mirror - I don't know why I wanted this so badly. It certainly doesn't show me the things I WANT to see in the mirror. But I think it falls in line with self-care and having a tool to carefully craft my makeup each morning. It's for my art! Yeah, let's stick with that.

3. A Badass Girly Vanity (includes Badass Vanity Seat) - Ahhhhhh. A place to sit every morning with my newly-acquired makeup mirror, allowing me to simultaneously organize my makeup brushes and perfumes, paint my face on, and be incredibly lounge-y (read: lazy as fuck). This may be my favorite purchase ever. There's a place for my coffee cups/wine glasses (because what else would I ever drink?) and the seat is big enough to sit with my legs criss-crossed. It's the ultimate "me-gift."

4. New Sheets and Comforter - A fresh start. Crawling into a bed with brand new, fresh sheets and a beautiful new comforter borders on orgasmic. You feel pampered. You sleep better. You feel better. It's your cocoon. I highly recommend it.

5. A 2-TB External Hard Drive - Tech Nerd Alert. All of the devices in my house are on the verge of being rendered non-functioning due to the incredible amount of files, apps, photos, videos, and music I have on them. Worse yet, they are in dire need of organization. If there's one thing that helps me feel like I have my shit semi-together, it's having an organized tech life. To be perfectly candid, I'm not convinced 2 Terabytes is going to be enough storage, but it's a damn good place to start.

6. A Lightning Quick Wireless Printer - Soooo, my bank account says that I probably should have stopped ONE purchase ago. This is not your average printer - it's the BADASS of all printers. It's sleek. It prints gargantuan documents faster than I actually can get to the printer. It prints stellar photos. It copies, faxes, scans to computer and email, and has built-in soft document storage. might sense a theme emerging here... I don't even have to get off my lazy ass to print anything. Two swipes of my phone and it's sitting in the printer tray. BOOM. Okay, I'm probably the only one excited about this, but being efficient is undoubtedly a "me thing." And that's what this exercise was about: me.

These purchases aren't meant to be a list of things you should run out and buy (but you totally should buy them - for real). These are meant to give you an example of how you can create your own List of Customized Joy. So, go ahead. Make a list of things to pamper yourself that really make you feel authentically you - and then when time and money permit, BUY THAT SHIT FOR YOURSELF. It just so happens that Valentine's Day is creeping up rather quickly. What better time to remind yourself that your own self-care and self-love truly matters?

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